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Adjusting to longer skis.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After several years of skiing the beginner skis at my local resort (either 150 or 155 on my 5"7 frame), I have finally purchased my own pair at 160 (10 below my metric height), an Elan Magfire which is aimed at beginners to intermediates.

When I finally got to test them out for the first time last week, it was horrible. I felt as if most of my control was completely gone. I felt comfortable doing turns (though really strange one, not really parallel) before, and now I feel as if I don't even side-slip correctly. One ski turns, the other continues forward.

I should have known that this might be a problem because on my last skiing day last season, I tried a rental 160 ski just before closing and it felt different, but at the time I thought I would need only a short adjustment period.

Has anyone else had a problem adjusting? I feel a lot less confident in my skiing now, even though I know that going "full size" is a necessary step. Any tips on how to adjust?
post #2 of 11
First of all, an Elan Magfire is not exactly a beginner's ski. It has pretty aggressive shape and flex, and an advanced skier, can really set an edge and carve. For a beginner, that means the ski can feel very directional when set on edge, and if you don't yet have the tools to change directions, it becomes unwieldy. Also, this is a new ski with factory edges. Chances are, you have never experienced a truly sharp rental ski. Its even possible that the new ski was delivered with some burr on the edge that makes it nearly unskiable.

The ski's behavior can be moderated by checking the tune, and maybe "de-tuning" the tip and tail back just past the contact point with the snow. Detuning is not dulling the ski, but adding more base bevel. By increasing the base bevel, the edge is slower to engage, and therefore feels less grabby and more forgiving. An alternative might be to work with an instructor to learn to use the power and edge that is built into that ski.

If you bought the ski at a local shop, ask the store for information on increasing the base bevel at the tip and tail to make the ski more forgiving. Keep in mind this can be undone as your skills increase, by doing a base grind and new tune.

In summary, the problems you describe are more likely related to the tuning of that ski, than its slightly increased length over what you previously rented.
post #3 of 11
Tip your skis onto their left edges to go left / /
Tip your skis onto their right edges to go right \ \
Tip more to turn sharper.
Balance along the edges.

Your old rental skis probably suggested which way to go when you tipped them; these skis will insist. Just tip the tips the right way so that they are insisting you go where YOU want to go and it should all work out. Go where the tips lead you, don't fight them; tip them.
post #4 of 11
Have you had a recent lesson?

I don't know what or where your local resort is, but in general, the stuff that happens to rental skis .... If I had a $1 for every time I saw a kid clopping across the pavement to the rental shop still in the skis ... holy cow!

Regarding rental gear, one night I forgot my boots and went down to the rental shop to get a "comp" so I could teach that night. I elected to sit the night out and my heart goes out to all of the victims .... er .... dear and valued customers of our rental fleet. I hear of the horrors of "Gitmo and Waterboarding" and I think of those rental boots.

So .... speaking of boots ... what's the story on boots ... and a recent lesson?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
First of all, an Elan Magfire is not exactly a beginner's ski
Thanks for the info. I was actually confused about my ski, I have the flow 6.2, not the magfire 6... (I was initially going to go with a last-season magfire 6, but the guy at my local store correctly talked me out of it).

I guess the tuning issue makes sense, though I remember at the end of last year that I took a slightly longer ski and had the same problem.

I might be going tomorrow again and try things on wet granular (yay for PA rain skiing), and see if that makes a difference.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Have you had a recent lesson?
I don't know what or where your local resort is, but in general, the stuff that happens to rental skis .... If I had a $1 for every time I saw a kid clopping across the pavement to the rental shop still in the skis ... holy cow!

So .... speaking of boots ... what's the story on boots ... and a recent lesson?
I find the image of someone "skiing" into the pavement or even walking on it disturbing... I can only imagine the nasty fall.

I'm planning to get a lesson once our ski school properly opens... After the first bout of snow we've been having constant rain here in PA. I'm going to go tomorrow, but I doubt I'll manage to drag any instructor out in the rain
for a single-person group lesson. And I'm not even sure that there's going to be any snow left on our intermediate slope... Might make falls painful

As for boots, I am actually surprised that the boots don't improve my performance at all. When I first started skiing a few years ago, I put myself into the wrong size of rentals (a size 10 street, I think that's about a 28). Turns out that I only needed about a size 26. So before this season I've gone to several local stores and eventually, in the last one, a more serious older store manager actually spent time with me trying on different boots until I eventually ended up with a pair of 2005 Performa Evo2 that fit well.
post #7 of 11
uricmu,

Cirquerider has really good advice. It isn't the length of the ski that is giving you trouble, but it is the way it's tuned. Many beginner/novice level rental skis are actually slightly convex across the base of the ski. this allows the ski to pivot or be pushed very easily while it is flat on the snow. The ski you bought has a flat base with a little bevel on the edge. To be able to pivot or push the ski, it takes much more precision b/c the edges engage more easily and to a higher angle than you are used to. It is possible that the 160 you tried last year was a phase II rental ski, which also has a flatter base than the phase I or beginner rental.

You might have the shop check the base bevel of the edge. For you, it should be 1 deg and no less. Get it corrected if needed. From there, a lesson is in order.

Good luck!

RW
post #8 of 11
Even if they are the same model of ski, it's easier to out-muscle the shorter ski. Good technique has you and the ski working together. 165 cm shouldn't be a problem if you're doing it right. 150 is a lot easier if you're doing it wrong.
post #9 of 11

New Skis

Quote:
Originally Posted by uricmu View Post
I find the image of someone "skiing" into the pavement or even walking on it disturbing... I can only imagine the nasty fall.

I'm planning to get a lesson once our ski school properly opens... After the first bout of snow we've been having constant rain here in PA. I'm going to go tomorrow, but I doubt I'll manage to drag any instructor out in the rain
for a single-person group lesson. And I'm not even sure that there's going to be any snow left on our intermediate slope... Might make falls painful

As for boots, I am actually surprised that the boots don't improve my performance at all. When I first started skiing a few years ago, I put myself into the wrong size of rentals (a size 10 street, I think that's about a 28). Turns out that I only needed about a size 26. So before this season I've gone to several local stores and eventually, in the last one, a more serious older store manager actually spent time with me trying on different boots until I eventually ended up with a pair of 2005 Performa Evo2 that fit well.
Uricmu, what all the above say and:

You're on new skis and it is very early in this season

Don't panic, give yourself a little familiarity with your new skisl.
Spend some time skiing in a straight line on a gentle slope, find your balance point/stance on the new skis, ski on one ski and then on the other, main concern is balance, just go straight.
Then make some gradual big turns once again going for balance and feel. Work yourself into your new skis gradually and you will then begin to feel familiar with them and enjoy. When you find your balance/sweet spot you will be off to a great season. Enjoy. Pete
post #10 of 11
If you are skiing at Seven Springs, I'll be in town from the 18 to 27th. You might want to check out the EpicSki Instructor List and contact members Larry C or Taylormatt by PM for lessons. Taylormatt was just saying he is not heaviliy scheduled until 12/26, so nice chance to meet with a great guy and fun instructor.
post #11 of 11
Elan's web site has the Flow 6.2 listed with 2-1/2 (out of 5 possible) stars for skiing level, and the Magfire 8 with 3 stars, so there wouldn't be much difference.

Your new skis very likely are more responsive than the rentals, so they react to whatever inputs you give them...correct or incorrect inputs, intentional or unintentional inputs. As said, you could use some instruction in the correct inputs to make those skis perform and put a smile on your face. Pete also has some very good ideas.

The configuration of the bottom of the ski and the edges, the "tuning," is very important. Usually the original factory setup is very good, but have it checked. The base must be flat, the base edge surfaces beveled 1°, and the sides beveled 1° or 2°. If this isn't the case, ask the shop you bought them from to correct this,and ask for no charge or a good discount. The skis won't ski right for anybody if they aren't tuned right. Also check to see that the shop has the binding positioned correctly with the center mark on your boot sole over a corresponding mark on the ski, or maybe the boot 10 to 15 mm forward of the mark. (Many skis, not all, ski better on packed snow with the bindings forward of the mark. I'm not familiar with Elan's integrated bindings, but they look like Tyrolia Railflex.)
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